Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Jakarta Provincial Environment Office (DLH) urged residents to properly handle and dispose expired medicines and drugs in their households to prevent environmental contamination after vast quantities of paracetamol were detected in North Jakarta's waters.

"Jakarta's households should perform waste sorting and isolate hazardous and toxic substances in their houses, such as expired medicines, from other waste," the environment office's public relations officer, Yogi Ikhwan, stated in Jakarta on Friday.

Households should first separate expired medicines from other waste in the houses before placing them in an enclosed container or plastic bags that have been clearly marked, he informed.

Households could bring the expired medicine containers to the closest public trash bins and dump them into the red trash bins marked for hazardous and toxic substances. Clear identification of the containers would also help the municipal waste collector to isolate the expired medicines while collecting household waste, Ikhwan explained.

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The waste collector would bring the waste to the local landfill before being moved to the municipal landfill, with the hazardous waste being separated from other household waste, he added.

The landfill operator will then arrange the toxic waste transfer to a third party holding a permit from the Environment and Forestry Ministry to handle and dispose the hazardous and toxic waste, the public relations official noted.

"We should play an active role in isolating the expired medicines from other household waste to ensure that the medicines' chemicals will not contaminate the environment," Ikhwan remarked.

Earlier, researchers of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) Oceanography Research Centre had reported a high level of paracetamol -- a chemical substance used as a medication for fever and mild pain -- being detected in North Jakarta's Ancol and Muara Angke waters.

The researchers discovered 610 nanograms per liter of paracetamol in the Angke waters and 420 nanograms per liter of paracetamol in Ancol waters.

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Translator: Dewa Ketut SW, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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